City plan: Use street light savings on brighter skyline

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – When night falls on Albuquerque, only a handful of downtown’s building stand out.

The blue hue of the DoubleTree Hotel and green look of the Wells Fargo building are two of the brightest. The lit-up tops of the Bank of Albuquerque building and the Hyatt also brighten the night sky.

“I love how some of our private sector folks have lit up the buildings downtown,” Mayor R.J. Berry said. “I’d like to see more of that done.”

Mayor Berry has a few thoughts on which building could most use it.

“The New Mexico Bank & Trustbuilding is a nice building that could be lit up,” Berry said. “There’s probably two dozen downtown.”

A solution to brightening up the skyline could be found closer to ground level. The city’s set to put out a request for proposal in the next couple of weeks looking for help making Albuquerque’s street lights more energy efficient and easier to maintain.

“It’d be a situation where we would have lights that don’t cost as much to run,” Berry said.

The city’s taken similar steps before. During recent renovations of the Albuquerque Convention Center, the city installed lighting systems that save about $75,000 in power costs a year.

It’s unclear how much the city could save with more efficient street lights, but Berry’s suggesting those savings could be used to work with business owners to brighten up downtown’s skyline and possibly even city hall.

“If we can make the city look better and if I can cut your electric bill as a taxpayer and do it all at the same time that’s a win-win for us,” Berry said.

Berry also floated the idea of using those savings to put better lighting where it’s needed or reinvesting that money elsewhere as needed.

The plans are still in the very early stages and there’s no clear timeline for when any of this could happen.

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